Kellyanne Conway and The New York Times, perfect together
The New York Times abused its readers and demonstrated the hollowness of its values yesterday when it published the words of Kellyanne Conway, one of the most prolific liars and gaslighters in American history. The New York Times disgraced itself as an institution, and made a mockery of its mission statement and values. Let’s examine the absurdity of these promises:
“We seek the truth and help people understand the world... We follow the truth wherever it leads…The trust of our readers is essential…We renew that trust every day through the actions and judgements of all of our employees…We treat our subjects, our readers, and each other with empathy and respect. The pursuit of excellence takes different forms, but in every context we strive to deliver the very best.”
What a joke. The words are as empty and delusional as these:
Kellyanne Conway is a shameful person. She broke her constitutional oath of office during her disgraceful public service thousands of times. She is a narcissistic bully, who abused her daughter with the same impunity with which she abused the American people with her wretched conduct and smoldering mendacity.
Kellyanne Conway desecrated the truth with a level of pathological lying that was both shocking and terrifying because it was met with such little resistance from the people who should have been most repulsed by it. Instead it was celebrated.
The White House is the temporary home of the president of the United States of America, and is the seat of executive power. The Oval Office has been continuously occupied by the American president since Theodore Roosevelt first stepped into the newly built West Wing. It is the place where FDR huddled with Churchill, and where John Kennedy stared down Armageddon. It is the place where Harry Truman said, “the buck stops here,” and where Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War. It was the place where a black man redeemed America’s ‘promissory note,’ and it was the office that Kellyanne treated like her very own Trump Tower crash pad.
The American media licked up Kellyanne’s lies. She was utterly brazen and transparent about it. Her arrogance was only exceeded by the accuracy of her declaration that we were upon the seas of a vast new ocean at the dawn of a new era. The era of “alternative facts” was being born in the most fertile garden in which a toxic weed has ever rooted. Let’s watch the Watergate era of American journalism be demolished by a thermonuclear detonation of propaganda that declared what was true and real was dependent on what the leader declared it to be:
Some people tried to warn about the dangers that would build until they exploded in disaster:
Others, like Kellyanne, stoked an extremist fire with lie upon lie. She stoked hatred when she guided Trump through his defense of the white supremacists, antisemites and Nazis who killed in Charlottesville, Virginia, while chanting “Jews will not replace us.”
Kellyanne Conway was present at the creation of the greatest extremist threat to American democracy since the Confederate States of America and the Bund. She was there when Trump first intimated that the election would only be fair if he won. She was there when he intimated he wouldn’t concede a presidential election. She was there when Trump talked about shooting Black protesters. She was there when the federal government attacked peaceful protesters and assaulted clergy at St. John’s Church where Trump desecrated the Bible. She was there when the Ukrainian government was blackmailed and bullied by the president of the United States. She was there when the integrity of every major institution in America was assailed, smeared and slandered by Donald Trump. She was there when the Constitution was shredded and power was abused by Donald Trump.
Yesterday, she was in the pages of The New York Times lying some more. Like always, her blather oozes a type of proverbial narcissistic pus that makes the clear typeface of whatever it is read on seem sticky and infected.
It seems that access is the enduring currency of this putrid era at The New York Times, where hereditary rot proves that the privileges that decay institutions aren’t simply a British phenomenon. Surely, if this essay was the closing argument of a trial in which access media was proven and demonstrated as a great harm, no conclusion could ever preface the words “we rest our case” that would more decisively prove the premise than three photos that could be forwarded without comment:
There were three organizations above all others that thrived in the Trump era. CNN, The New York Times and Fox News became billion-dollar beneficiaries of the corrupt Trump economy. In the case of CNN and The New York Times, they threw away their values, integrity and dignity, while simultaneously celebrating all three in a preposterous charade that would immolate the faith of the American people in the idea of objective truth and reality. All they had to do was abandon the pretenses of journalistic ethics.
It is important to note that there are exceptional journalists at CNN, including Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, Dana Bash, Jim Acosta, Jake Tapper, Clarissa Ward, and many others. The same can be said about exemplary journalists at The New York Times. None of those journalists deserved to be yoked to the creature cantina of liars, dividers, conspiracy theorists and loons to whom they were tied by their corporate bosses.
There is no person who worked in the Trump White House who wasn’t party to the routine lying and unprecedented corruption of the truth by a presidential administration. Yet, the lies were allowed to spread on the basis of both anonymous sourcing and freak show television by the news organizations which claim they exist to root it out. Instead, they became the information superhighway for government manipulation and propaganda.
The lies and delusions were simply repeated and printed. Anonymous sourcing allowed various factions to poison one another and manipulate Trump. The New York Times journalists largely played along, and one of them rose to become the greatest access journalist who ever lived. Her relationship with the former president was so deeply rooted in personal family associations, shared economic interests and personal familiarity that Trump called her “his psychiatrist.” She occupies a space that is singular in the Trump court. She alone understands him, at least according to her, Trump, The New York Times and CNN. Whether that is insanity, delusion, cynicism — or all three — is hard to know.
Sickeningly, the journalism institutions weren’t coerced. They surrendered and submitted. They did it for money like Kevin McCarthy did it for power. They did it like Lindsey Graham did for affection and attention, and like Chris Christie did it to be first. Each person and each institution that broke faith by breaching their values and commitments has their own justifications and rationale.
What separates Elise Stefanik and the paper that covers her is a shared faith that whatever they decide is the right thing to do. The most shocking instances of corruption ever known about an American president were kept quiet by his co- conspirators in the media. They transacted on each tidbit of information in a vast information economy in which the most urgent information for the American public to know was arbitraged against its salaciousness — and ultimately suppressed for a book deal to be released later.
The simple truth is this: the American political news media is poisoning discourse in America in a thousand different ways. It is toxic, divisive and aggressively dishonest. It is transactional and symbiotic with the powerful interests of which it is one. The New York Times is part of it just like its partner Kelly Anne Conway. They are pillars of the ‘Trump industrial complex,’ and neither wants to see it all whither on the vine.
There is a simple test that The New York Times might think about applying. If Jayson Blair lied and plagiarized, why is he banned from the pages of the ‘paper of record?’ After all, he is a misdemeanor liar compared to Kellyanne Conway.